Early parole blamed for rape, murder

2012-12-18 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG high court judge Esther Steyn said on Friday the Department of Correctional Services had failed a couple who were attacked by the woman’s ex-boyfriend at Richmond on April 4.

The 25-year-old woman was stabbed multiple times and raped when she became too weak to walk, and her boyfriend, identified only as Luvovo, was knifed to death.

The incident took place at Ndaleni.

Judge Steyn sentenced 33-year-old Squkuza Eric Ngcongo of S’lahla, in Richmond, to life imprisonment for the premeditated murder of Luvovo; to two years’ imprisonment for stealing the cellphones of the victim and her sister; 10 years’ imprisonment for attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend; and to 15 years’ imprisonment for raping her.

The judge said Ngcongo was no stranger to the law, having previous convictions for escaping from lawful custody, theft, murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

It was disturbing, Steyn said, that Ngcongo was sentenced to undergo 15 years’ imprisonment for murder and robbery in 2002, and was released on parole after serving only seven years in December 2009.

“Within 10 years of his previous convictions he murdered again. In my view the Department of Correctional Services failed the victims in this case.”

She said that in her view Ngcongo was obviously a man of violence and was a danger to society. “It is my duty to ensure that those in society are protected from you and you are removed from society,” she told him.

According to evidence, Ngcongo was unhappy when his relationship with his girlfriend ended. On the day in question he hid outside her home armed with two knives.

He entered at an opportune time and attacked the couple. After stabbing and killing Luvovo he attacked and stabbed his former lover several times.

When she fled he pursued her and continued to stab her many times. Then he dragged her to an isolated place where he raped her as she lay on the ground too weak to walk and bleeding profusely.

According to a victim impact statement made by the rape survivor, she lives in constant fear of Ngcongo,and has moved to a different area.

She denied a claim by Ngcongo that he had apologised to her and she told the court he had called her from prison and threatened her during the week of the trial.

The court heard that she has sustained long-term injuries, including severe scarring all over her body and hands. She can no longer use her hands and cannot talk properly.

She sometimes feels like committing suicide.

Judge Steyn said she agreed with state advocate Elsa Smith that Ngcongo was not remorseful for what he did.

She refused his application for leave to appeal against his convictions and sentences.

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